CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Suffolk County man pleaded not guilty Monday in connection with an alleged road rage incident on the Long Island Expressway.
Jason Parker, 25, was charged with criminal mischief, assault and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle after he smashed another driver’s windows with a bat and punched him in the face last Wednesday, police said.
The incident happened on the expressway near Exit 62 in Holtsville during the morning rush, police said.
As CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, Randy Solis, an 18-year-old college student, told police in a statement that he changed lanes, and then “saw a white car coming up fast behind me…riding my bumper… crazy close to my bumper.”
Solis said Parker chased him for miles in a BMW – four exits – until Nichols Road. When Solis got off the expressway there, police said Parker followed and then cut him off, causing a minor wreck between two other vehicles.
That was when Parker came out with an aluminum baseball bat, police said.
He “swung it at the front windshield and smashed it…then smashed the driver side window…yelling and cursing (then)…jabbed the bat into my face,” Solis said in a statement.
Solis said he was able to wrestle the bat away from Parker.
“The windshield and two side windows were all smashed, making it a felony,” said Suffolk County Police Lt. Tom O’Hare.
Following the incident, Parker got back into his car and sped off, but Solis was able to get his license plate number, police said. Another witness snapped Parker’s picture, police said.
Solis was treated for his injuries at Stony Brook University Hospital.
Parker is an unmarried father of two. A defense attorney said Parker claims he is actually the victim.
“There are conflicting stories as to what happened,” Parker’s lawyer Robert Macedonio told reporters, including WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman. “There are questions, according to the statements, as to who was initially the driver and who was the initial aggressor on this matter.”
Macedonio would not provide specifics about what might have occurred.
“My client has indicated during the arraignment he does have bruises and injuries to his body, which he claims are at the hands of the complaining witness in this matter,” Macedonio said.
The judge acknowledged those bruises but said they were not terrible, Silverman reported.
Prosecutors said Parker was also driving with a suspended license, with his girlfriend and baby in the car.
Witnesses said he was the one swinging the bat.
Drivers near the scene of the attack said this is the reason they steer clear of aggressive drivers.
“I used to think it’s OK; just don’t know what’s going to happen anymore,” one said.
“You’re powerless over it; it’s not worth it,” another said.
Bail for Parker has been set at $10,000.
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